BOSTON (CBS) – It may only be summer league, but Jared Sullinger gave Boston Celtics fans plenty of reason to be optimistic about their first-round pick on Monday.
Sullinger scored 20 points and pulled down six rebounds in Boston’s summer league opener Monday afternoon in Orlando, a 73-65 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Stats: Summer League Box Score
The 21st overall pick in the draft gave Boston 24 solid minutes off the bench, scoring 14 of his points in the second half. Sullinger scored eight points in the third quarter alone, going 6-for-12 overall from the floor in the win.
Center Fab Melo, selected by Boston right after Sullinger, also came off the bench, contributing with two points, two rebounds and two blocks in 14 minutes on the floor. Second-round selection Kris Joseph, teammates with Melo at Syracuse, added seven points off 3-for-8 shooting.
Follow: NBA Free Agency Tracker
All three of Boston’s rookies debuted at the same time, entering the game mid-way through the first quarter.
Last year’s draft picks JaJaun Johnson and E’Twaun Moore were both in the starting five for Boston. Johnson only scored three points in his 24 minutes, but pulled down eight rebounds — including six over a six-minute span in the early goings. Moore ended the game with 16 points off 6-for-16 shooting, including a pair from downtown.
Boston’s starting five got things going early on, jumping out to a 16-6 lead. Boston led 25-10 after one-quarter before the Thunder had the game within one bucket by halftime.
Rookie Dionte Christmas out of Temple may have put up the most impressive stat line for the C’s, scoring 10 points and pulling down a surprising 10 rebounds; a high number for a 6-5 guard.
For the Thunder, former Boston College standout Reggie Jackson scored a team-high 19 points.
Boston next plays Tuesday night against the Brooklyn Nets.